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The 2018 US-China Trade Conflict after 40 Years of Special Protection It first constructs a new measure of special tariff protection to put the sheer scope and coverage of the 2018 actions into historical context. It then uses the lens provided by the 2018 special tariffs to explain the key sources of economic and policy friction between the two countries. -PIIE

Will a US-China Trade Deal Remove or Just Restructure the Massive 2018 Tariffs? -PIIE

Trump leaves Pentagon power vacuum The large number of acting officials has slowed decisions, handicapped the department in policy disputes, and unduly empowered the White House, former officials say. -Politico

None too soon, US readies to combat Beijing's South China Sea aggression -The Hill


Democrats and Republicans find a common cause: Whacking tech companies Issues that have already drawn cross-party buy-in run the gamut from antitrust enforcement to bolstering publishers' power against tech platforms. -Politico

Facebook users care less about privacy than regulators -Reuters

Facebook expects up to $5B FTC fine Facebook said Wednesday it expects to shell out between $3 billion and $5 billion to settle the FTC's ongoing investigation into its handling of user data, foreshadowing a potentially massive penalty from the nation's top consumer protection agency. -Politico

Amazon's Alexa Team Can Access Users' Home Addresses An Inc. team auditing Alexa users’ commands has access to location data and can, in some cases, easily find a customer’s home address, according to five employees familiar with the program. -Bloomberg

Sizing Up Twitter Users U.S. adult Twitter users are younger and more likely to be Democrats than the general public. Most users rarely tweet, but the most prolific 10% create 80% of tweets from adult U.S. users -Pew Research

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Adam S. Hickey of the National Security Division Delivers Remarks at the Fifth National Conference on CFIUS and Team Telecom -DOJ Release

Trump’s Nafta Revisions Offer Modest Economic Benefits, Report Finds An Audi assembly line in San José Chilapa, Mexico. The revised regional trade accord would increase the percentage of a vehicle that needs to be made in North America for it to be tariff-free. -NYT


Japan tells U.S. can't link monetary policy to trade: finance minister Aso Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Thursday he told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that Tokyo cannot accept discussions that link monetary policy to trade issues. -Reuters

America wants to challenge rogue petrostates But it cannot squeeze Iran and Venezuela without risking higher oil prices for its own consumers -The Economist

Oil spikes to 6-month high after Trump crackdown on Iran -The Hill

No stone unturned: South Korea to sweep world for Iran oil replacement South Korea will likely return to a familiar game plan to replace Iranian oil it will no longer have access to after May now that the United States intends to tighten sanctions on Iranian exports. -Reuters

Trump officials halt plans to expand offshore drilling The Trump administration is hitting pause on its ambitious and controversial plans to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic. -The Hill

As Argentine Bonds Slump, Macri Adviser Says Market Has It Wrong In the week that Argentina’s bond market fell off a cliff, President Mauricio Macri’s campaign strategist says investors have exaggerated the political risks. -Bloomberg